Blues make forced team change
Sharks back-rower Wade Graham's dreams of making his Holden State of Origin debut on June 22 have been dashed by the NRL judiciary after being found guilty of a grade one careless high tackle tonight.
Judiciary panellists Don McKinnon, Shaun Garlick and Bob Lindner found Graham guilty for his hit on Johnathan Thurston in the Sharks' 13-10 win over North Queensland on Monday night.
The one-game suspension will see him ruled out of Origin II, though with only 45 carryover points he will not miss any games for the Sharks.
Graham's undoing proved to be a hit on Justin O'Neill of the same nature in last September's semi finals with the 33 carryover points and 50 per cent loading from the incident factoring into the base penalty of 75 points.
Dragons forward Tyson Frizell will now make his State of Origin debut at Suncorp Stadium.
Graham offered a brief statement after 12 minutes of deliberation from the judiciary panel.
"I'm obviously very disappointed I miss out on making [my Origin debut]. There's no words to describe how disappointing it is," Graham said.
"I thought we went in there with a good argument, it was a fair case and unfortunately the decision didn't go my way.
"It's important for me to move on, head back to Cronulla, play good football and hopefully have my name thrown into the ring again for Origin III."
"It's just about moving forward for me and I'll leave it at that."
Judiciary council Peter McGrath – while conceding Graham's tackle started off as conventional – successfully argued his tackle was careless with the Sharks back-rower losing control of the tackle as he flung and overran Thurston and ultimately there was moderate impact to the Cowboys playmaker's head.
Defensive council Nick Ghabar rebutted McGrath's claims noting Graham was only afforded half a second to react and readjust to Thurston's drop in height as he stepped off both feet in the lead-up to the tackle.
Graham also said during the hearing that he had "no chance to pull out, or to do anything to avoid the tackle" due to him setting his tackle with the aim to target below the ball.